The process for developing an EOP is more important than the product. As EOP plans are developed, practiced, reviewed, and revised, as requirements change, the product (the plan) will also change. However, the process of developing and revising the plan will remain constant.
The process of developing EOPs follows two nationally recognized Federal planning guidance documents:
Both of the above documents were developed by partnering Federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
6 Step Planning Process
The planning process recognizes the unique characteristics of each individual school, district, and situation. The process follows six steps:
- Form a collaborative team
- Assess and understand the situation
- Determine safety goals and objectives
- Develop specific action plans
- Write, review, and approve the plan
- Train, teach, practice, review and revise the plan
The planning process follows 6 principles. These principles states that the process:
- Is supported by leadership: superintendents, principals, boards, etc.
- Is collaborative throughout: no one person or group can do it all alone
- Uses customized assessments: threats and hazards, assets, capacity, climate, and culture
- Considers all threats and hazards: natural, technological, biological, human/adversarial
- Addresses the needs of the whole school community: all students, staff, families
- Considers events which might happen during and outside the school day, on and off campus
5 Mission Areas
The EOP planning process addresses the Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) 5 Mission Areas. As defined by FEMA, and adapted to the specific needs of districts and schools, these 5 mission areas address:
- Prevention means the action districts and schools take to prevent a threatened or actual incident from occurring. It is important to note that not all threats or hazards can be prevented.
- Mitigation means the preparation to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property damage by lessening the impact of an event or emergency.
- Protection focuses on ongoing actions that protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, networks, and property from a threat or hazard.
- Response refers to stabilizing an emergency once it has happened, to reestablish a safe and secure environment, and to facilitate the transition to recovery.
- Recovery refers to actions necessary to assist districts and schools in restoring a safe learning environment.
3-Part Plan Format
The traditional format of an EOP has three major sections:
The Basic Plan is the district or the school’s overarching approach to emergency operations, regardless of threat, hazard, or function.
Functional Annexes is the “how-to” actions to be followed in an emergency.
Threat and Hazard Specific Annexes detail to how each function will be carried out in a specific type of threat or hazard (e.g., hurricane, bullying, active shooter, etc.).